Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who can participate on an European Council program?
Essentially, anyone that is enrolled in a University System of Georgia institution. The European Council is a consortium of 30+ institutions (click here for a list of schools and their representatives) however if your school is not a part of the consortium or you are an out-of-state student, you may still participate as a transient student at Valdosta State University. For information on becoming a transient, you can visit the VSU transient information page or email the EC coordinator, Beverly Vantine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to study abroad, what do I do next?
Visit your European Council campus representative on your home campus. They will give you any forms you need and the information you want. You should consider how the various program will help you to achieve your personal, academic and professional goals. You may want to consult past student and faculty participants as well as your study abroad adviser and academic adviser. Then you can make an informed decision about which experience is right for you. It is worth remembering that the European Council study abroad programs are reviewed annually by the member institutions, and we have been offering study abroad programs to USG students for more than a decade.
I don’t speak any foreign languages, can I still go on programs to non-English speaking countries?
Yes! All of the European Council classes, with exception of foreign language classes, are taught in English.
Will I need a visa to go abroad? Will I need shots and special medicine?
Everyone who travels abroad needs a passport. If you are an American citizen participating on one of summer programs, you do NOT need a Visa unless you’re participating in the Russia program. If you will be abroad for longer than 8 weeks or are a non-US citizen, then please contact your campus representative for additional assistance.
The European Council does not require any additional shots; however, you should consult your individual physician to receive medical advice about travel.
Is it safe to go abroad?
We carefully consider safety when planning programs and we evaluate each program annually. All of the European Council programs operate in countries that the U.S. State Department considers safe for U.S. visitors. For more information about the safety of a particular country, please visit the U.S. State Department website.
Can I travel while I’m in the program? How is the program organized?
Yes, you can travel to other cities and countries while on the program. On our four and five week programs students will meet in the classroom twice a week, attend mandatory field trips in the city twice a week as well, and will be able to enjoy three-day weekends for personal travel. Some programs may schedule required field trips during the first or final weekend in the host country and some sites may offer optional excursions organized by the program for an additional cost. Students are free to make their own travel arrangements so long as they do not conflict with scheduled classes and field trips. Students are required to inform program directors of all travel arrangements prior to leaving.
Free and half days have been built into our shorter programs. Your program director will inform you of your free days during the mandatory May orientation.
What are the requirements to study abroad with the European Council?
All participants must be in good academic standing with their home institution, have approval of their campus representative, and must be enrolled at a participating institution (or become a transient).
How do I know that the classes I take while abroad will count towards my degree?
Only the study abroad or academic advisor on your home campus can tell you exactly how the classes will count towards your degree. You should schedule an appointment with your campus representative talk to him or her about this. Each campus will assign their own equivalency to each course so it is important to communicate with your campus representative about the credit you will receive on EC programs.
When will I know if I’ve been accepted?
Applications for EC programs have two parts. Part I is to complete the application form available on the EC website. It must be signed by your campus representative who will then pass it on to the EC office. Part II of the application process is to pay your $300 non-refundable application fee using the online pay system through the EC website’s “Apply and Pay. Applications will not be processed by the EC office until both parts (the form and the fee) have been received in the EC office.
Upon receipt of both parts of the application you should expect an acceptance email with an attached booklet with program information, including due dates and details on what is expected of participating students.
If you do not receive notice in a timely manner from the EC office please feel free to contact your campus representative or the EC office to insure that you are not missing one or both parts of your application.
How much does study abroad cost?
All programs are vary in price, so you can look at the individual program sites. The programs fees do not include tuition because you will register for courses and pay tuition at your home campus. It is estimated that students should budget $200/week for meals not included in the program and an additional $200/week for spending money. When considering how much extra money to bring, please consider the exchange rate.
What is included in the cost of the program? Do I still have to pay tuition?
While the exact details vary from program to program, the cost typically includes airfare, housing, insurance from Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI), and some meals and field trips. Tuition is not included and must be paid to whatever institution you are enrolled at (if you are a transient, you will pay tuition to Valdosta State)
Where do I make my payments?
Tuition should be paid to your home institution, just as it is for on-campus study. Program fees should be made on-line with credit/debit cards or Webchecks. You can get to the on-line pay center from the “Applications and Payments” page by clicking on your program’s button.
Do I need to make an account when submitting a payment?
No, you do not. In fact, we recommend checking out as a guest because if you were to lose your login information, the European Council does not have access to help you reset or retrieve your information.
Are there scholarships available for study abroad?
You should visit the financial aid and international education offices on your home campus for information about institutional scholarships that are offered for study abroad.
Below are other useful websites for scholarship possibilities and ideas for fundraisers:
Can I use my financial aid or HOPE towards the cost of my trip?
Yes, all financial aid can be applied toward study abroad. You will need to visit your financial aid office on your home campus to talk about your individual circumstances.
How do I register for classes?
Normally you will register for classes on your home campus if you are a student in the University System of Georgia. This process is separate from your application for the program. Once you have designated your course selection(s) on your study abroad program application, and the European Council office has received the application, you will still need to ensure that you are registered for classes at your home campus. Make sure that you discuss this with your European Council representative.